Exploring the Longest Cave in Indian Plains, ALL ALONE!


belumcaves

There was a time when I used to love travelling. As a teen I always envied people who travel extensively and many a times I wished I would land up in a job that involves a lot of travel. It was not until last year that I landed up in such a job. If there is something that this job has taught me it is this :

“When guided/demanded by an external framework which does not relate to your persona, even your preferences become a paint point”

For when I travel, “BUSINESS” is stamped on every move of mine and especially when it involves training the most difficult population in INDIA to be trained,it makes every other alternative to sneak personal time, “Null & Void”.

Now, don’t worry. This is neither a post where I crib about my job nor am I gonna give tips on how to maintain work life balance :D. This post is purely about an awesome experience that I had by just deciding to break free from my usual monotony though it offered a safety net and kept me in a physically comforting zone and deciding to jump into action whenever presented with an opportunity.

Regular readers of my Blog know my huge affinity towards Archaeology and for a very long time it had been my dream to explore a cave all by myself. Recently I was assigned to train a big batch of teachers on Effective Teaching Methodology and inclusion of technology into day-to-day teaching at a place called TADIPATRI in Andra Pradesh. This place is known for its carvings of the early Vijayanagara period and is often referred to as a treasure-house of fine Vijayanagara sculptures. Very near to this town is Indian sub continent’s second largest cave and the longest caves in plains of Indian Subcontinent, BELUM CAVES. When I came to know that I was just 30 KMs away from it, I was ready to risk every Business related shortcomings and decided come-what-may, I am exploring it today.I immediately jumped into action and collected all information and articles I require for this and the only thing that stood between me and my dream was this training. It was a 4 hour session scheduled to start at 11 AM and end around 4:30 PM. Even if I start at 4:45PM I would reach Belum caves only around 5:30 PM which is exactly its closing time. So, without wasting a moment, I contacted the person from the school and with all the convincing skills I have acquired over my 6 years of corporate tuning, I persuaded them to reschedule the training to 9 AM and after  few moments of negotiation, they agreed for 9:30AM .  From then on.. it was game on!!

The training ended at 1 PM and I was in a bus at 1:20 and by 2:00 I was at Belum Caves. With the temperature reading a scorching 41 Degrees and being a weekday afternoon, the otherwise bustling spot looked like an ideal spot for a post apocalyptic movie shoot.

As I walked the rough 1 km stretch from entrance to the ticket counter I was both happy and surprised to see that I was only one around to enter after noon and the guy at the ticket counter asked if I wanted to wait until someone turns up, for walking all alone into a natural underground cave formed by the constant flow of underground water with stalactite and stalagmite formations can  make your mind play games with you. This made me not to wait a minute more for exploring one of the largest cave in India all alone is no normal opportunity. With no guide around and armed with my outdated smart phone, I entered the cave and what ever happened inside with remain etched forever in my head.It was a both spiritually enlightening and artistically enchanting experience. The former needs a separate post for itself so will not explain why and how it was spiritually enlightening later but why “enchanting” can be understood through the following pics which I took with my smart phone( How I wish I had a DSLR).


collage 1

Inside, the cave was illuminated by a monochromatic sodium vapour lamps that added a mystic beauty by casting strange shadows and the art that nature inflicts has always been superior to any.

Collages2

This whole experience  made me understand few things that I believe will change my life forever. For a new start.

1. People are ready to help and adjust. It’s just us who are ever-reluctant to ask. So when you need something, ASK. Nothing wrong in asking 🙂

2. Life always presents you with opportunities. Its only your decision and the corresponding action that helps you grab.Nothing/none can be blamed if you miss.
3. All time is now. Never settle for “LATER”
4. It’s neither work nor it is life. Happiness lies where both BALANCE.

#StartANewLife
For  https://housing.com/.

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8 thoughts on “Exploring the Longest Cave in Indian Plains, ALL ALONE!

  1. Super. Looks you had a good time exploring. You can be my “guide” the next time I am in India and we can plan a trip here.

  2. And someone’s started participating in Happy hours eh?
    Belum caves, Oh my god! I’m so jealous of you Sriram. They are beautiful even the way you perceived it. But I think you forgot to put a caption for the second last pic, it should be saying “I’m not as innocent as I look”, right? Just kidding.

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